Over the past two decades, many countries in Asia have experienced rapid economic growth. This has led to a rapid rise in their urban population. The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of India lays the foundation for a sustainable Urban Governance System in the Country. While the national governments pursue the goals of economic development, it is generally left for the local governments to manage the rapidly growing urban areas, and to provide the basic services to the residents. In India, Urban Local Bodies are the constitutionally provided administrative units, who provides basic infrastructure and services in urban areas i.e cities and towns. For urban areas, administration of basic civic amenities like water supply, drainage, public health and sanitation are also essential.
To have better co-ordination and control on the working of municipalities in the State, the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies Department, Haryana was established on 1st April, 1982 . The Department was established to give impetus to the 74th Amendment of the Constitution and to lay a solid foundation for the Urban Development in the State of Haryana. Haryana is one of the most progressive States in India and its people are quite proactive in keeping themselves abreast of the changing global landscape. With rapid urbanization, growing needs of the citizens for efficient & effective service delivery, better civic amenities thereby providing better living standards, the activities of the department have multiplied manifolds. For efficient and effective service delivery, the Department is encouraging replacement of traditional delivery system of public services by new and improved system of governance that works better, costs less and is capable of serving the citizens’ needs with ease.
The central government further felt a major need to set up an initiative that will provide reform linked assistance to State Governments and ULBs in the country. In line with the expectations of the Central Government, the Urban Local Bodies Department is also proactive towards the changing environment and is laying its focus on the efficiency in urban infrastructure and service delivery mechanisms, community participation, and accountability of ULBs/ Parastatal agencies towards citizens. The Department, having recognized the need to integrate the reform initiatives and scale up the effort to catalyse investment in urban infrastructure across States in the country, is taking several measures.
The Directorate of Haryana is headquartered at Sector 17, Chandigarh and the Municipal Corporations, Councils and the Committees are located in the field. At Present, there are 9 Municipal Corporations, 14 Municipal Councils and 53 Municipal Committees in the state which are headed by Municipal Commissioners and other established officers.